Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fox Noise

After a discussion with one of the primary writers of this blog I made the decision to diversify my evening television schedule. Since Tucker on MSNBC was cancelled as of March 14, 2008, I no longer had my daily dose of conservative expression; and I really have no affection for Tucker Carlson’s replacement – David Gregory. As such, I decided to actually pick up the remote and turn to Fox News.

The show that is supposed to compete during this time slot is Special Report with Brit Hume. I figured I would at least attempt to tolerate Fox News for at least one hour, however, I believe turning to the station when Brit Hume is on may have been my first mistake. I feel that a social conversation with Mr. Hume would amount to watching paint dry. Additionally, after watching Hardball with Chris Matthews and then turning to Special Report with Brit Hume it is not difficult to see the differences between the two men and the two stations.

Mr. Matthews praised Senator Barack Obama’s special on race in America as the finest speech on race he’s ever heard (yes, that includes the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech) and recommended that it be taught to students as soon as possible as part of their compulsory education. Furthermore, in discussing the speech Matthews brought on a diverse array of political commentators, special contributors and pundits; ranging from the cacophonous Ken Blackwell (former Ohio Secretary of State and unfortunately a Xavier alum), to a social commentator from Black Enterprises magazine, to a conservative white man from Politico.com. Mr. Matthews brought on many more people that are diverse to discuss the speech he said was worthy of President Abraham Lincoln.

It was easy to see where Matthews’ preferences rested, but that did not make him impassive of polar opinions on Mr. Obama’s speech and Mr. Obama.

Then I turned to Fox News.

It took, what I would estimate to be, 40 minutes to see somebody on the program that wasn’t a middle-aged white male. Next, it was easy to see the bias in their reporting of Mr. Obama’s speech, but it wasn’t as bad as other channels would make it out to be. Finally, as Fox News finally decided to deconstruct and analyze Mr. Obama’s speech three conservative white males, and one moderate white female did it. It was not difficult to figure where the program, as a whole, came down on Mr. Obama.

The one thing that causes people, and myself, to be indignant towards Fox Noise is when the air their “Fair & Balanced” commercial starring the jingoistic and insidious Bill O’Reilly and various other talking heads stating they report “just the facts”. The gall of Fox News to air that commercial as if it completely obviated the fact they just had a cabal of conservative journalists and pundits dissect Mr. Obama’s speech (which I agree is one of the finest pieces of American rhetoric) as a foregone conclusion was simply perfidious.

I was under the impression that adverts on television had to be true, if that is the case then Fox News has to be guilty of some sort of legal malfeasance.

- James Edward Johnson
Contributing Writer